Compiled G. Muhwahwa
Following an application for upscaling filed with the Chimanimani rural district council, SOCNET was invited to the Environmental and Social services meeting held on the 4th of December in the district council boardroom.
Present were council officials from the environment and social services department.These include the Chairperson of the district council , Nyamatore , D Tsandukwa, J Ndiamba, G Mtetwa, R Chimbarara and Ex-Officio,R M Bvumbura. Emerging local CBOs, MEDRA and
PEZA trust which have recently applied to operate in the district were present.
Issues for MEDRA, focusing on gender based violence, a program being supported by Christian Aid were discussed.The organisation was then granted the owner to operate in the district. PEZA issues were also discussed and these centered on tourism and environmental management. They were also given a green light to operate was granted.
SOCNET was given room and time to explain who they are, it’s business and its work as of today. That was perfectly done and the issues were discussed at length. Ex officio Bvumbura actually agreed, allowing the Trust to operate in the whole district but questioned on workshops held in ward Five. He insisted that he was never invited. Sandukwa also agreed on the Trust occupying the whole district,even the councilor for ward 12 where extractive business is being done by the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company also agreed with the above two.
The chairperson (Nyamatore) had a different
opinion. He emphasised that the Trust should remain operating in the west. Ward
12 as explained by Muchinawo (council environment officer), is occupied by
settlers who are heavily politically motivated, hence SOCNET workshops as most
believe may stir up sour relationships with council.
It was later resolved that SOCNET representatives (Maringe and Muhwahwa) leave the boardroom to give space to the department so as to discuss the fate for SOCNET. After almost half an hour, SOCNET was called back, only to be informed that the matter has been referred to the office of the DA for further discussion.